By 2020, the total U.S. ton-miles of freight will be about 5.77 trillion. To succeed in international business, you must use the best freight forwarding services. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t know what to look for to know if they have the best.
Freight forwarders help prepare your shipping documents and give advice on customs expectations. They track shipments and provide insurance assistance, such as filing claims. They also organize warehousing and ensure safe transportation of cargo.
Moreover, these companies negotiate great prices for shipping. Their ability to consolidate individual shipments also helps in reducing the price. Plus, they have connections in the international freight industry.
To reap these benefits, you must know how to find the best freight forwarding services.
Characteristics of Great Freight Forwarding Services
The current trends in the international freight industry involve tech and millennials. The new generation is ordering more goods and building new logistics businesses. Moreover, the use of big data is making the delivery process more efficient. Here are key characteristics of freight forwarding companies that provide great service.
1. First-Rate Reputation and Experience
Look for a company that has a great reputation in the freight industry. Usually, the very large companies have credibility and a good standing in their field. Thus, they get many of the contracts. There are also small and regional companies making a positive mark and may be able to provide a more personalized experience.
The right freight forwarding business will have the experience to handle different cargo. They will have the means to transport shipments to various areas and have a proven track record.
Research the company’s history and customer satisfaction, looking for reviews and/or complaints that will help you make your decision.
2. Membership in Industry Groups
Great companies are not afraid to connect with others in their industry. Thus, it will be easier for you to find one within trade associations and related groups. Approved freight forwarders are those operating diligently and with integrity.
These industry groups won’t want to associate with a company that defrauds customers. Plus, being a member means the company you choose has access to a vast network. This network access will help in getting your shipments easier and faster.
Look for affiliations such as Certified IATA, FMC & C-TPAT.
3. On-Time, Reputable Operations
Make a list of your needs and expectations about a freight forwarding company. What is your business and what kind of cargo is being shipped? Can the company handle the delivery and packaging needs?
Ask what the company can do for you. Do they have access to various transportation modes? Can they meet your warehousing needs? Do they provide other services, such as insurance?
Check their delivery time as well. The company should have the ability to deliver your goods safely and by the agreed time. You want to see that they have a reputation for consistent and on-time deliveries.
4. Clear Pricing Options
Once you get a list of potential companies, you must look at their pricing. Freight and logistics services have their pricing strategies. These strategies depend on location, cargo, business goals, and economic conditions.
Choose the company which provides a lot of value in their price range. Negotiate a discount price where possible or consider asking for extra services.
5. Available Referrals
The best way to get a good freight forwarding company is through referrals. The person who refers you will be familiar with the company’s reputation. They will know if the company is compliant with the laws.
Moreover, they will know the company’s terms and policies on shipping, as well as what it is like to deal with the company. A referral also gives added assurance that they are capable of proving great service.
Ask your acquaintances and the company itself for referrals that you can contact directly for validation.
Learn More About Using Commercial Shipping Services
There is a lot for you to consider when it comes to freight forwarding services. Know that you as a customer have many options.
Contact us to learn more about using commercial shipping services.
Atlanta Customs Brokers is one of the oldest and most trusted customs brokerage and shipping firms in Atlanta. Established in 1985, our company has been a fixture in and around the Atlanta airport and Savannah port for more than 31 years. We enjoy working with our international partners and enjoy what we do. If you are a first time importer or exporter or a large corporation, we can handle your needs.